Tag Archives: living gluten free

Gluten-Free Made Easy Cook Book Review

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While I don’t claim to be a book critic I will say this is one book that I’ll be referring to quite a bit. When I was asked to write a review by Christi Silbaugh, author of Mom, What’s for Dinner I must say I was a little skeptical. Living with celiac disease I wondered how could she understand, truly understand, what I would need someone living with Celiac Disease.  But after flipping through the first few pages of Gluten-Free Made Easy I could tell she got it!

Gluten-Free Made Easy is a book for all the gluten-free eaters and health enthusiasts everywhere.  It is formatted very similar to other gluten-free cook books I have seen.  The book helps explain: what is gluten, where is gluten hidden, where do I find gluten ingredients and how can I fit gluten-free into my budget.  In addition there are tips and tricks all through the book such as:

    • on pg 49: “The Batter Barrier: Gluten-free batter is sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner and always different than traditional batter.  It will take time to get accustomed to the texture of gluten-free flours.  For now, trust the recipe.”
    • on pg 145: “The secret to moist fish.  An over cooked fish is a dry fish.  It is best to remove the fish from the oven when it’s jucy and has changed color….  if the fish starts to brown… it is probably overdone.”
    • on page 6: “Try restaurants with a large number of gluten-free dishes such as  Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and other ethnic cuisines.”

This cookbook is very easy to understand, the directions are simple and many of the ingredients are things I already had around my house. I also like that the recipes don’t rely on hand making everything from scratch with 10-12 different steps. The recipes reference a lot of really good gluten-free products and they seem like great recipes for children on gluten-free diets.gluten free jacksonville potatoes au gratin gluten free made easy

gluten free jacksonville tilapia gluten free made easy

I made the Potatoes Au Gratin (p158) and Dry Rubbed Tilapia (p142). They were DELICIOUS! and I can’t wait to try the Homemade Baked Tater Tots (p73), Italian Sausage Lasagna Cups (p93) and the Cauliflower Pizza Crust (p99).

The pictures are beautiful; at first glance I was immediately hungry. While I love this book I do have a few critiques:

  • The calorie and fat counts are not posted and many of the items seem high in fat and calories.
  • Since many people are gluten-free and dairy-free it would have been nice to include some dairy substitute ideas.
  • It would be nice to see the overall preparation times at the top so people can pick recipes based on time allotted (It took close to 1 and a half hours to prepare the Potatoes Au Gratin).

The book is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Books and Things. I recommend it for you and your family.

Happy Cooking.

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Earth fare NOW OPEN- Gluten-Free Goodies Galore!

earth fare jacksonville gluten-free
With much anticipation, Earth Fare is now open in Jacksonville, FL.   A cross between Whole Foods, Native Sun and Grassroots Natural Market, this Asheville North Carolina native is FULL of gluten-free options.  Here are some of my highlights:
Meat and Seafood: They provide humane meats and keep smaller quantities on hand and order more frequently so that meats and seafood stay fresh.  They source their meats and sea food from all over the world but are looking to reach out to local seafood and meat sources.
gluten free jacksonville earth fare Family Meal Night: Every Thursday from 4-8pm up to six kids eat free with one adult dinner purchase (only $5) and they will prepare gluten-free meals for your family.

Gluten free Goods: They have distributed gluten-free goods throughout the store rather than having all gluten-free items in one aisle. Look for wood grained shelves and the gluten-free signs.  These shelves are HUGE, it is not just one column and one row of gluten-free goods it is rows and columns of gluten-free goodness.  They even have some local gluten-free items such as FreshJax hot sauce and Sweet Pete’s.  The prices for gluten-free items vary.  gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare

gluten free jacksonville earth fareLocal 100: Look for the signs that say Local 100 this means that the produce came within 100 miles.

gluten free make up jacksonville earth fareGfree makeup: They have two different brands of  gluten-free make up that are also vegan.

gluten free jacksonville earth fare

Specializing in REAL FOOD, we think Earth Fare is going to be a huge hit.  They do their best to avoid foods that contain antibiotics; artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, fats; high fructose corn syrup and bromated or bleached flour.  We can’t wait to make this a part of our regular shopping routine.

GIVEAWAY: Thank you for your comments about  your favorite gluten-free brand.  We have picked a winner and will announce soon.

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Freshfields Farm – EVERYTHING IS GLUTEN-FREE

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

Through word of mouth, on multiple occasions, I had to try Freshfields Farm. A 7 days a week farmers market style grocery store, Freshfields Farm is a gluten-free dairy-free oasis. There are no labels to decider, no prepackaged goods to worry about cross contamination, the prices are reasonable and the colors are fantastic. Freshfields Farm has vegetables, fruits, meats and some dairy. They do a lot to highlight their organic and local produce but you will find almost any and every vegetable you could imagine.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

I purchased two packs of strawberries for $4, two large bags of spinach for $4 and two large chicken breasts for $2. While not all of their fruits are organic and not all of their meat sustainable, they do have some grass fed beef options and other sustainable meats which are still quite reasonably priced.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

In addition to strawberries, spinach and chicken breasts, I got grapes, sweet potatoes, organic apples, a pineapple, and swiss chard; I loaded up. I got a great deal and everything I bought was fresh and flavorful.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

The only problem with going to a place like Freshfields Farm is it forces you to cook. There are no precooked convenience foods like chicken nuggets, lean cuisines, frozen burritos, or cereal. Shopping here will require chopping, sauteing, grilling, roasting, cutting, blending, juicing… you get the point.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

Freshfields Farm is located in the oddest space across the street from University Christian High School near the intersection Of University Boulevard and I-95. It is on my way home so I can’t complain too much.

5555 University Blvd W
Jacksonville, FL 32216
(904) 652-2810

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New Delicious Sponsor: Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert

I am excited to announce our new sponsor: All Natural Naturally Smart Frozen Desserts. This new product is coming to a store near you. The product is gluten free, higher in protein than other frozen desserts and low in calories. naturally smart gluten free jacksonville

I am in love with their packaging and while I have yet to try it (I am dairy free and gluten-free), other people seem to be love it it.

I am also impressed by the fact that they like to give back.  Most recently they provided free samples to families at the Zombie Chase that benefited the Shannon Miller Foundation.

You can purchase these Naturally Smart Frozen Desserts at the Following Locations:
Dr Capasso’s Thin Centers MD, Mandarin – 10950 San Jose Blvd #41(next to Just Fitness)
Dr Capasso’s Thin Centers MD, Jacksonville Beach – 1351 13th Ave South (across from Beaches Baptist)
Bio Max 299 Atlantic Beach, – 299 Atlantic Blvd #1 (next to Ragtime)

They were featured on News Ch4 with Nikki Kimbleton and will be at the UNF (Student Union) during Market Days from 10-3pm.

Naturally Smart is still looking for local retailers, health food stores, gyms and other outlets to carry their frozen dessert.  Want your favorite store to carry Naturally Delicious? Here is a Product Request Form.

Have you tried it?  What did you think?

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My End of September Wish List

gluten free jacksonville jacksonville magazine food lover's guide 2013
A few weeks ago I received the September version of the Jacksonville Magazine Food Lover’s Guide. While flipping through I noticed that in addition to mentioning the best restaurants in Jacksonville, they have a little section on restaurants that have vegetarian options. gluten free jacksonville jacksonville magazine food lover's guide 2013 eat your veggies

Could Jacksonville Magazine also promote restaurants that offer gluten-free options on their menu? Could we as a city, do more to promote restaurants who are doing a great job of accommodating gluten-free diets?  There are many out there and many already listed in the magazine that could use some love. I think even Folio Weekly could help spread the word about gluten-free restaurants… Here are a few of my recent wishes:

MY WISHES:

1. Can we do something to highlight the gluten-free restaurants in Jacksonville in the next issue of Jacksonville Magazine’s Food Lover’s Guide?

2. Could we add a GF to the Guide to the Guide legend in the Jacksonville Magazine’s Food Lover’s Guide.gluten free jacksonville jacksonville magazine food lover's guide 2013 guide to the guide

3. Could Folio Weekly add “Best Gluten Free Restaurant” (or best gluten-free blog- haha) to their Folio Weekly Best of Jax voting ballot?

What are some of your wishes?

P.S.  Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Check out The Wedding Crashers Party, hosted by JacksonvilleScene.com and benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Saturday September 28th at 8:00pm.

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Celiac Support Group; Jacksonville, FL

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

Newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease? Have you been living with Celiac Disease and want to share some of your experiences of living gluten- free?  Then join the Celiac Support Group of Jacksonville.

The support group is very informal and is a way for fellow friends living with celiac disease to get together and share ideas on where and how to maintain our gluten-free diets. Or you can just commiserate on how frustrating the diet can be at times. We all understand. If you need more information, you can e-mail Mark Basch at basch.mark@gmail.com.

The Celiac Support Group of Jacksonville meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm at the offices of Windsor Assisted Living and Memory Care Welcome Center at 6331 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 7 (in a strip mall alongside a Target store, just north of NAS Jax.)

Upcoming meetings:

September 17th at 6:00pm
October 15th at 6:00pm
November 19th at 6:00pm
December 17th at 6:00pm

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Question and Answer: Gluten-Free Near the Hyatt Downtown

Question: I happened upon your blog when looking for GF restaurants in Jacksonville, where I will be for a week the end of the month. I will be attending a conference for work at the Hyatt Regency downtown. Can you offer any suggestions close to the Hyatt as I will not have a car? But other suggestions for dinner would also be welcomed or anything else I shouldn’t pass up!

Answer: While there are not many options too close to the Hyatt there are some that are a either a long walk or quick cab ride. You may want to contact the hotel ahead of time to give them a heads up about your gluten-free needs, they are pretty good at accommodating a gluten-free diet.  The Hyatt is located in Downtown Jacksonville right on the St. Johns River.  It is conveniently located close to charming neighborhoods such as San Marco, 5 points and Riverside/Avondale all either a long walk or short cab ride away.  Here are some of my recommendations:

Downtown:
Indochine (walking distance)- thai food,  great for lunch or dinner
Cafe Nola inside MOCA (walking distance)- great for lunch or dinner, check their website they are not open every night
Koja Sushi at the Landing (walking distance)- open for lunch or dinner.  No gluten-free soy sauce but sushi is pretty good.
Chart House (cab or long walk)- good place for dinner, mostly seafood, they have a gluten-free menu
Olio Market (walking distance) – good lunch spot
Pho A Noodle Bar (long walk)-  gluten free options available, good lunch spot

gluten free roast beef sub european street jacksonville, fl

European Street Roast Beef Sandwich on Gluten-Free Bun

San Marco:
bb’s (cab or long walk)-  gluten free menu, good for lunch, dinner or brunch on weekends
European Street (cab) – gluten free bread for sandwiches from Cookie Momsters, gluten free beer and good happy hour 
Taverna (cab) – Chef has a gluten- allergy, they are very knowledgeable.  Good for dinner, somewhat fancy
Pulp (cab) – smoothie shop
Hightide Burrito (cab)-  fast food mexican locally owned and fresh

Avondale: 
Mellow Mushroom (coming soon) (cab): gluten free pizza and beer!
The Brick (cab): gluten free menu

Riverside:
Sweet Theory Bakery (cab)- they close every night at 6 but it is worth it, there is nothing like it in Jacksonville. They are gluten-free and dairy free.

Chocolate Chip Cookie sandwich with vanilla frosting in the middle sweet theory baking co

Chocolate Chip Cookie sandwich with vanilla frosting in the middle from Sweet Theory Baking Co.

5 points:
Larry’s Giant Subs (cab)-  is a local chain sandwich shop with a few locations and gluten free sub rolls from Cookie Momsters and wraps
Sushi Cafe (cab)-  pretty good sushi, no gluten-free soy sauce but delicious none-the-less
Black Sheep (cab)- best roof top in town, farm to table concept
Grassroots Natural Market (cab)- plenty of gluten-free snacks, prepared foods, smoothies, etc. Convenient to center of 5 points.

Food Trucks:
Corner Taco (location varies)- make their own corn tortillas and use cornmeal for fried foods. Blog post

tempeh and carnitas tacos from Corner Taco

Tempeh and Carnitas tacos from Corner Taco

Special events:
Riverside Arts Market- Almost every Saturday
The Cummer- Free Tuesdays and First Saturday of the Month
Art Walk- First Wednesday of the Month
Museum of Contemporary Art Free Saturday and Sunday for Bank of America Card Holders

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